Easter has been and gone. Tonnes of chocolate have been consumed. The weather wasn’t too shabby, we had 3 days of good weather with only some showers on Easter Monday. What was different this time was that we were in lockdown and not quite sure of how we were feeling.
Easter for me marks about a quarter of the way through the year and a good time to take stock of where we are so far. We all started the year enthusiastically with resolutions and new determinations. Then there was the global pandemic which turned everything on its head.
Where are we now? What have we discarded since the beginning of the year? What have we managed to hang on to? What do we need to resurrect? It is easy in these tumultuous times to blame everything on the pandemic as we have a ready-made excuse. But are we sure we really want to give up on what we started? Things like:
- The resolutions that only lasted till February
- The one dream you were going to go after in 2020 but now you think what is the point?
- That book that you were going to finish?
- The exercise regime that fell by the wayside because you were unrealistic with your expectations the first place?
- The 8 hours sleep every night that disappeared because we are glued to the news waiting for the next set of statistics on the pandemic?
- Cutting out sugar which now seems to be a distant thought because lockdown just makes you binge on ice-cream?
- Doing more recycling, what is the point when people are dying anyway?
- Being more present with the kids and your partner (have you tried being present in lockdown when you are on a conference call and your toddler chooses that moment to pour flour all over themselves?)
- Establishing a meditation routine, you were doing so well until you had to work from home and now you feel so lethargic in the mornings you think your alarm has been rigged?
It may seem pointless to go and resurrect any of your resolutions as the world has changed beyond recognition, but you are the same person with the same needs. You started down this path because something in you needed you to establish that goal and now is your time to review and decided whether you want to carry on with it or ditch. You cannot use the pandemic as an excuse.
Life is like that, when you start something, after a short while it falls into the ‘too difficult’ bracket, throw in a pandemic and it falls into the impossible bracket. Some things are too important to let slip and have to resurrected.
Whatever you have let slip, Easter is a good time to review and resurrect. If it is important to you, go and resurrect it. There is no shame in starting and falling off the wagon. Most of life is falling off the wagon and getting back on it. The tragedy is when you don’t get back on it for something that is important to you. The tragedy is allowing shame to stop you from getting back on it. The tragedy is thinking, ‘if you liked it or were any good at it you wouldn’t have fallen off the wagon’. That is wrong thinking.
Wrong thinking is the sort of thinking that keeps you in the same place you have been that you don’t want to be in. It keeps you trapped in the same cycle for years and before you know it, you are caught in the regret trap thinking ‘if only’. Don’t let wrong thinking stop you from getting back on the wagon and resurrecting whatever needs to be resurrected. In my book: Octopus on a Treadmill, Women, Success, Health, Happiness I explain about the importance of managing your thoughts. You need to get on top of them before they get on top of you.
Go at your goals, resolutions or whatever it is for you, with the same enthusiasm you had at the beginning of the year and consider Easter a time check, and not a performance check. Cut yourself some slack and allow yourself to fall and then get back on the wagon again.
This is life, it ain’t pretty when you are trying to make a change, go after a new dream or challenge yourself in ways you have never done before. It also isn’t easy, that is why you will fall off the wagon, but you need to get back on, even when you don’t want to, especially when you don’t feel like it. Most of the time, when you don’t feel like it, it is your fear convincing you that you will be no good because you didn’t succeed the last time. Don’t give in. You haven’t failed, you just have succeeded yet. And there has been exceptional circumstances. Give it time.
If you haven’t yet finished your big fat Easter egg, have it on me. Then get back on that whole foods diet or whatever you promised yourself. This is the time to do your time check and re-engage. The pandemic cannot be your excuse. Life still goes on albeit in a different guise and you have to keep showing up.